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The Indianapolis Colts couldn’t believe that edge rusher Kwity Paye fell to them at the No. 21 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, but they couldn’t have been more excited to call in the pick.

Paye, who brings immense upside to a pass-rushing unit that desperately needs it, will be competing for a starting role along the defensive line. Most believe he will lock up the starting strong-side edge role sooner rather than later.

In naming every team’s most dangerous weapon, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox picked Paye for the Colts.

Edge-rusher Justin Houston was responsible for eight of the Indianapolis Colts’ 40 sacks in 2020. However, the Colts have yet to re-sign Houston. As of now, rookie first-round pick Kwity Paye looks to replace him as Indy’s primary pass-rusher off the edge.

While Paye isn’t the proven NFL standout that Houston is, he could be just as disruptive as DeForest Buckner’s edge complement.

“No edge defender in this draft class has the upside of Kwity Paye, who could walk into most NFL buildings right now and be the most athletic pass-rusher,” Justis Mosqueda of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.

While Paye only appeared in four games last season, he produced 6.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2019. At 6’2″ and 261 pounds, he is a compact but explosive edge defender who will be a handful for offenses that are concerned with slowing Buckner up the middle.

Bleacher Report also predicted a pretty strong rookie campaign for Paye, which includes leading all first-round edge rushers in sacks.

Paye can be the key that unlocks the Colts’ pass rush in 2021. They were solid with DeForest Buckner leading the interior, but the edge was far too inconsistent for the pass rush to make a serious impact.

Paye isn’t a finished product by any means. He still needs to work on his consistency and finding a viable counter when it comes to running the arc. However, his upside and ability to impact the run game immediately cannot be overlooked.

Paye brings a strong combination of burst, bend and length to the position. Those are three traits the Colts seem to covet most when it comes to their edge rushers. His strength and length allow him to set a strong edge against the run while his speed, burst and bend can unlock massive potential as a pass rusher.

The Colts couldn’t be more excited to have Paye on their roster, and it will be interesting to see how quickly he can make an impact.


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